21:53 | 14/02/2022 Print
|Top 10 Most Famous Cars In Movies of All Time|
Most movies have cars in them. Filmgoers have long been captivated by thrilling car chases and spectacular stunts on screen, some of which often become scene stealers. With franchises like Fast & Furious and Transformers going on to make millions at the box office, it’s safe to say Hollywood has produced its fair share of memorable cars over the years. When a vehicle eclipses the flesh-and-bone actors and becomes the superstar of a film, that's how you know it's a great movie car. From James Bond's 1964 Aston Martin DB5 to the beat-up 1974 Dodge Monaco featured in The Blues Brothers, to the 1985 Modena GT Spyder California that Ferris Bueller took for a ride, these movie cars have influenced generations, inspired car culture, and become the stuff of every kid's dreams. Here are some of the most iconic movie vehicles of all time.
1. James Bond’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5
2. 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, Bullitt
3. 1966 Ford Thunderbird, Thelma & Louise
4. 1969 Dodge Charger, General Lee, The Dukes of Hazzard
5. 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, Herbie
6. 1969 Mustang Boss 429, John Wick
7. The Batmobile/ The Tumbler
8. 1970 Dodge Charger, The Fast and the Furious
9. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
10. DeLorean DMC-12 Time Machine, Back to the Future
Film: Goldfinger (1964)
Franchise: James Bond
Designer: Ken Adams & John Stears
Engine: 4.0 L V6
Horsepower: 282 hp
0-100 kph time: 8 seconds
Top speed: 233 km/ 145 mph
When the name 'James Bond' is mentioned, one of the first things that pop into most people's minds is Aston Martin. The British automaker is so tied to the James Bond franchise, largely thanks to the DB5's appearance in the third film, Goldfinger.
The beautiful Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger had a long list of tricks that make it one of the most beloved film cars of all time, including an ejector seat, machine guns, missile launchers, and smoke screens. As a matter of fact, the DB5 is the most awesome James Bond car ever! Interestingly, the DB5 featured a navigation screen in the dash a decade before appearing in real-life vehicles. The car became so popular after Goldfinger that Aston Martin made 25 recreations of the Bond DB5 and sold each for $3.5 million.
Film: Bullitt (1968)
Designer: Ross Humphries
Engine: 6.4 L V8
Horsepower: 325 hp
0-100 kph time: 8.9 seconds
Top speed: 169 km/ 105 mph
No action movie is complete without a good car chase, and what better car for the job than the Ford Mustang. This car oozes Americana from every angle, and the thumping V8 makes a great soundtrack too.
The 1968 film is considered by cinema pundits as featuring one of the finest car chase sequences in film history. And the four-wheeler that played a defining role in that was the Ford Mustang GT390 Fastback — a dark green, two-door four-wheeler with a 390 cubic inch V8 engine. The thrill was made even more exciting with Steve McQueen as the man behind the wheels in the film. Fun fact: There were two identical Mustangs used for the chase scene and only one has survived, which was sold for US$3.4 million at an auction in the United States in January 2020.
Film: Thelma & Louise (1991)
Designer: Frank Hershey
Engine: 7.0 L V8
Horsepower: 345 hp
0-100 kph time: 9.3 seconds
Top speed: 216 km/ 134 mph
Like any classic outlaw, these two ladies rode in style in a 1966 Ford T-Bird. The car was chosen simply for its practicality for shooting movies: It’s open and easy to shoot the actors, and the backseat allows for Thelma and Louise to travel with other characters. A total of five cars were used in the movie: one “hero” car used solely for exterior shots, one camera car, two stunt cars, and one for backup. They didn’t receive any customization that is customary for a movie car, remaining the same as they would’ve been straight off the showroom floor. Since being purchased from Metro MGM Movies in 1991, one car was sold at auction in 2008 and earned $71,500—but that could have been for the Brad Pitt and Geena Davis signatures adorning the armrest and sun visor, respectively.
Film: The Dukes of Hazzard (1977)
Designer: Andre & Renaud Veluzat
Engine: 7.2 L V8
Horsepower: 375 hp
0-100 kph time: 6.5 seconds
Top speed: 224 km/ 139 mph
Unlike Starsky & Hutch, which is set in the same time period as the TV show, this movie is set in present day. At the beginning of the movie, the car is a faded orange with a hand-painted “01,” black steel wheels, a standard front bumper, and no Confederate flag on the roof. Halfway through the film, The General undergoes a transformation after being vandalized: Cooter repaints it a bright “Hemi” orange, adds ten-spoke turbine wheels, the octagonal “01,” a black grille guard, the flag, a “Dixie” horn, and the “General Lee” above the door openings.
Reportedly, two dozen 1968–70 Chargers were used for the film, though most of them didn’t survive the stunt-packed scenes. Again separating itself from the show, the movie cars used aftermarket graphics kits, but overall they vary little from the original General Lees. One of the TV cars did make an appearance in the film as a close-up car. It was used for a few scenes and then sent back to Warner Bros.
In the aftermath of the 2015 Charleston, South Carolina shooting deaths and the reignited resistance to the Confederate flag, Warner Bros. announced it would stop production of the General Lee toy cars.
Film: The Love Bug (1968)
Designer: Ferdinand Porsche
Engine: 1.2 L 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 41 hp
0-100 kph time: 15.4 seconds
Top speed: 100 km/ 62 mph
The 1968 American comedy "The Love Bug" put a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle front and center as the main character of the film. But this was no ordinary punch buggy — It was a sentient VW named Herbie who sported red, white, and blue racing stripes and would, perhaps surprisingly, be featured in a half-dozen films over the decades following the release of the original.
The Volkswagen Beetle is already an iconic shape on its own. Add in the stripes and the number 53 on the side and you have the definition of a love bug.
Film: John Wick (2014)
Franchise: John Wick
Designer: Larry Shinoda
Engine: 5.0 L V8
Horsepower: 354 hp
0-100 kph time: 7.3 seconds
Top speed: 206 kph / 128 mph
Keanu Reeves's most memorable on-screen vehicle just may be a Los Angeles city bus. But his coolest is the Mustang in the movie he made 20 years later, John Wick. The Mustang in question is identified in the movie as possibly being a "Boss 429," but that's not the case. A real Boss '9 is rare and highly collectible—one sold at auction back in 2015 for $550,000. It's likely the film crew used a '69 Mustang Mach 1 with either a 390 V-8 or a 428. Both are plenty potent for on-screen antics and look absolutely badass.
The cool thing about this movie is that it's clear this is a real car doing the driving without any CG. It's also reported that Reeves did most of the stunt driving himself after going through a performance driving school. And one of the best scenes is watching him fishtail the Mustang around a wet airport parking lot, sliding it closer and closer to a row of dump trucks. The Mustang reappears in John Wick Chapter 2.
Film: Batman Begins (2005)
Franchise: The Dark Knight
Designer: Christopher Nolan & Nathan Crowley
Engine: 5.7 L V8
Horsepower: 500 hp
0-100 kph time: 5.8 seconds
Top speed: 257 km/ 160 mph
Though it's one of the most iconic on-screen vehicles of all time, various versions of the Batmobile predate the on-screen appearance by many years, with its debut feature in the Batman comic book series as far back as the 1930s.
In 1966, the Batmobile served a critical role as Batman’s go-to vehicle for saving the citizens of Gotham City in the first season of the "Batman" TV show. The Batmobile was modeled after a Lincoln Futura concept car with a front steel "slasher" blade, 15-inch single-ribbed Rader Wheels, and a U-shaped steering wheel designed to resemble the yoke of an airplane.
Since its debut, the Batmobile has made appearances in all sorts of films, both animated and live-action, most recently seen in the 2016 "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice" movie.
Film: The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Franchise: Fast and Furious
Designer: Carl Cameron
Engine: 7.2 L V8
0-100 kph time: 5.5 seconds
Top speed: 220 km/ 137 mph
The classic 1968-70 Dodge Charger is a TV and movie superstar. The most famous of all was the '69 Charger "General Lee" from The Dukes of Hazzard TV show. Another Charger starred in the 1970s cult hit Dirty Mary Crazy Larry. But in 2000, the venerable Charger took to the screen again, this time built as a menacing black street-racing machine for Vin Diesel. With a wicked stance, giant rear tires, and a humongous engine and a supercharger sticking out of the hood, the Charger was insanely cool.
It was the climactic action scene of the movie that made this car so memorable. As Vin Diesel's character lines up against Paul Walker's character, who's driving a Supra, he floors the throttle and the Charger does a sick wheelstand and burn out at the same time. Movie magic for sure, but still fun to watch. Later in that same race, the two cars jump a set of train tracks just as a locomotive passes, and a heartbeat later, Diesel flips the Charger in a spectacular finish to the chase scene.
Film: Ghostbusters (1984)
Designer: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis & George Barris
Horsepower: 325 hp
0-100 kph time: 10.9 seconds
Top speed: 201 km/h / 125 mph
Ecto-1 is the name the "Ghostbusters" gave their odd, now-iconic Cadillac featured in the 1984 film. Built as a combination of an ambulance and a hearse, it also found its way as a poltergeist fighting machine.
Ecto 1 had a myriad of lights and sirens with decent road clearing ability, and the famous red and white color scheme made it a cult favorite.
The car, heavily modified for the movie, was strange enough looking even without the added lights, sirens, and fantastical detection hardware on the roof — the 20-foot long, 6,500-pound 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance had huge tail fins and a massive front end bearing multiple lights and a big, shiny grill.
Film: Back to the Future (1985)
Franchise: Back to the Future
Designer: Giorgetto Giugiaro
Engine: 2.8 L V6
Horsepower: 130 hp
0-100 kph time: 10.9 seconds
Top speed: 175 km/ 109 mph
Visually, John DeLorean's DMC-12 was a stainless-steel stunner designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro. Under the hood, though, the DeLorean wasn't quite the supercar that flashy bodywork promised, carrying a pokey 130-hp 2.9-liter V-6. No matter.
Its futuristic looks, combined with a bit of movie magic, gave the DeLorean legendary status, and because it was a time machine in the film, the real-life specs didn't really matter, with one exception: Reportedly, the prop staff replaced that sluggish V-6 with a V-8 from the Porsche 928, which went a long way toward helping Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) hit 88 mph, fire up the Flux Capacitor, and shoot back to 1955.
Despite its movie celebrity, the DeLorean flopped on the market in the 1980s. But the car's unique, retro-futurist design has earned it a cult following today. There's even a new DeLorean Motor Company restoring and improving the cars.
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